Enya, also known as Enya Patricia Brennan, is a famous producer, musician, singer and songwriter from Gwedorne in County Donegal. Today she is known as one of the most popular Irish artists, inferior in popularity only to perhaps U2 and the Cranberries.
Enya’s Early years
Enya was born on May 17th, 1961 to a family of Irish-speaking musicians who were also Roman Catholics. They had a total of nine children. Enya happened to be the fifth child. Despite so many siblings, when she speaks about her childhood she never mentions her childhood as being bad or unhappy.
The father of the family, Leo Brennan, was the owner of a small tavern and had a band, named “Slieve Foy Band.”
Her mom, Maire Brennan, was a school music teacher who also performs with Leo’s band.
When she was only three years old Enya took part in her first competition that was organized during the Feis Ceoli music festival.
In childhood, she also played in pantomimes and sang in the church choir with her mother and siblings. When Enya was four years old, she started to learn piano in the neighboring town. It was a pretty hard period of her life. She often says in different interviews that she frequently was upset because she had to practice piano while watching her brothers and sisters play games.
When Enya was eleven years old, she was allowed to study at a convent school, which was situated in Milford. Her grandfather paid for this education. While studying there, she developed a strong understanding and love for classical music. Her main aim was to become a music teacher like her mother. She never thought about being on stage.
Beginning of Enya’s Artist Career
After her first year of college, Enya decided not to continue to study music in a formal academic manner. In 1980 She becomes the part of Clannad, a band formed by several members of her family. Enya was toured, played gigs and recorded albums with them as the keyboard player and a backup vocalist until 1983.
In 1983 she recorded a few of her instrumentals: “Miss Clare Remembers” and “The Solar Wind.” Her first solo performance happened on the 23rd of September 1983 and was filmed for a TV show, named Festival Folk.
A year later she was chosen to be the composer of the film The Frog Prince.
In 1985 she became a composer for a series of BBS documentary films, named “The Celts.” At first, Devid Richardson, the director of films, wanted to hire a new composer for each episode, but when he heard Enya`s track, he decided to make her the only composer for the whole series. She used a lot of traditional Celtic, church, folk and Irish musical elements in each composition. Several compositions from the series were released as an album, named “Enya,” in 1987.
After that, she decided to produce a studio album, which got the name “Watermark.” Suddenly, after being released in 1988, it became a hit in England and reached number 25 on the Billboard 200. This success inspired her in composing a new album, named “Shepherd Moons,” which had even more success than the previous one. It was released in 1991. In 1993 she won her first Grammy Award for the album. After that, she released four albums.
These albums include:
- The Memory of Trees (1995).
- A Day Without Rain (2000).
- Amarantine (2005).
- And Winter Came… (2008).
The last album mostly consisted of different Christmas and New Year songs written and arranged by Enya. “And Winter Came…” was also incredibly successful and reached number 8 in the United States. The total amount of sold copies reached 3 million for the 2011 year.
After her album “And Winter Came” was released and promoted, Enya decided to take a break and rest a little. In 2009 she visited her family in Australia, rested a lot, and settled her home in France. Like any true artist, she soon came back to the creative process.
She recorded her next album, called “Dark Sky Island,” in 2012. As with her previous albums, it was really good and warmly accepted by the listeners and became number one in the United Kingdom. After the promotion of this album, in 2016 Enya for the first time in over seven years appeared on the TV with one of her Christmas related songs.
There has been no official news about her since 2016.